Florida high speed rail

Florida High Speed Rail was a proposed high-speed rail project in the U.S. state of Florida. Initial service would run between the cities of Tampa and Orlando, with plans to then extend service to South Florida, terminating in Miami at the Miami Central Station.

Trains with a top speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) to 186 mph (299 km/h) would have run on dedicated rail lines alongside the state's existing highway network. As of 2009, the project was headed by the Florida Rail Enterprise (formerly the Florida High Speed Rail Authority), an agency under the authority of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). On January 28, 2010, President Obama announced $1.25B in funds to construct the Tampa-to-Orlando route of this project.[4] Construction of the line was slated to begin in 2011, with the initial Tampa-Orlando phase completed by 2014.[2]

Florida would have received another $800 million of Federal Funding leaving Florida to find another $300 million of funding to complete the total projected cost of the project at $2.35 Billion. The US DOT had requested another $8 million in Federal Funding from congress in the form of grant to Florida DOT for the study in the Orlando to Miami Phase of the HSR Project.

It was reported on December 2010 that the US Dept. of Transportation was redistributing approx. $1.2 Billion in HSR funds that had been rejected by governors elect in Wisconsin and Ohio. Florida was projected to receive as much as $342.3 million of the reallocated rail funds which would have closed the gap of the entire projected cost of project.

However, on February 16, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott formally announced that he would be rejecting federal funds to construct a high-speed railway project in the state, thereby killing the Florida High Speed Rail project. Governor Scott's reasoning behind cancelling the project was that it would be "far too costly to taxpayers" and that "the risk far outweigh[ed] the benefits".[5]

On February 17th 2011, State Lawmakers which include 27 senators rebuked Gov. Scott's decision to kill the High Speed Rail project. Lawmakers intended to redirect funds from the State of Florida and the Florida Rail Enterprise to either the Tampa Bay MPO, or the SFRTA (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority) whom of which volunteered to oversee allocation and spending of the approx 2.4 Billion in funds. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood gave the senators until March 4th 2011 to plan a way to redirect funds away from the State to keep the High Speed Project alive in Florida.

On March 4, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously turned down the request of two state senators to force Scott to accept the federal funding for the project. Shortly thereafter, LaHood announced that he would be redirecting the funds intended for Florida to other states.
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